Teaching Children

RYA safe & fun safeguarding children & vulnerable adults course

RYA Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults 'Safe & Fun' online course launching January 2015 and compulsory for all new sail & windsurf instructors from 1/4/15

For more information or to take the course click HERE

Compare & consider the differences in how children & adults learn, do you need to change/adjust the way you teach?

Adult (over 18)

Youth (18 & under)

Session structure:


Prime - Brief - Exercise - Debrief - Self Coaching




A prime should be both inspirational and motivational. A prime is something that is given, done or said before a session or course. It can be anything from showing your students a poster, sending them an email or 'facebook message/page', giving them a leaflet, reference to a video, television program or YouTube video - give them something that will excite them about what you are going to teach them.

Ask yourself the following question to make sure your Prime is a good one:

How can we/I get their attention?




Is there a question that will spark off their thoughts?

Why is this skill important?

Can you bring focus onto the key skills?


What is the exercise?

Can it be made more enjoyable?

Do my students know and understand the feedback?

Is there an easier way of teaching the skill?

(Niall Myant, National Feva Coach)


Interesting tips:


Mobile phones:How many times have you tried to ban mobile phones from your sessions? It never seems to work, there is always one somewhere! How about you try and look at the advantages rather than disadvantages - todays mobile phone technology means that the kids can capture a video of a land-drill or take a photo of your debrief summary on the whiteboard..

Digital Video camera: If you use a video camera during your sessions, encourage your students to bring USB sticks into class, this way you can download a copy of the video for them and they can watch it at home, and next time they will have a comparison to see how much they have progressed.


Planning objectives/aims:


Young children -Boundaries are important. Prepared environment. Tasks need to be short, simple & specfic. Develop large then small muscle movement.

Older children - Target activities for whole class. More challenges. Known to unknown (History - Task - Goal). Easy terrain/environment then increase difficulty. Taster of all areas.


Presenting information:


Young children -Clear & simple. Command. Task orientated sessions.

Older children -Active ('doing' exercises). Light competition. Guided discovery. Target approach. Problem solving.



Young children -Large movements (easier to see & do). One item at a time. Simple movements.

Older children -Imitate movements. Take in what you do not say. Be specific REMEMBER - 'a picture paints a thousand words'


Make ideas available, motivate and inspire. Its not the training we put in, its what we put into the training.




For examples of childrens sailing games from the RYA website - click here 


An example from the list is:- 


Dinghy sailing - A light wind game. A skipper is chosen randomly from the group. This can be done ashore by passing out (face down) a selection of cards (playing cards) with a joker in the pack, one to each member of the group. Players should be told to look at their card without letting anyone else see it. The player who gets the joker is now the 'Skipper', no one except the skipper knows who it is. The skipper recruits his crew by winking at them.


Logisitics - Mark off a square sailing area with a cross-wind/triangle course laid out within it. Oppies: eg 12+ persons, 6 x Oppies. Persons doubled up in Oppies, one on the helm and the other as look out. The skipper sails her/his boat just as the rest, following the set course. When she/he passes another Oppie, she/he may wink at them, if this happens the reciever has now been recruited as a member of the skipper's crew. All crew members must now stand and continue sailing. As the game progresses, all members of the group will end up standing except for the skipper. Once all members are standing, they must salute their skipper as they should all now know who it is.

Wayfarers - minimum 3 Wayfarers, follow instructions as with Oppies.

Be aware that collisions can cause accidents if the crew are standing up.


Skills learnt - following rules, increasing sailing ability by following laid course, balance & trim whilst standing up, 5-essentials.



For more information on CRB (Criminal record disclosure) checks & downloads of example child protection policies & guidelines please click here



RYA Good practice guide for Instructors
RYA Safeguarding and Child Protection Po
Adobe Acrobat Document 63.7 KB
RYA Self disclosure form
RYA Safeguarding and Child Protection Po
Adobe Acrobat Document 71.4 KB